Case to take Mursi satirist off air rejected

Updated 07 April 2013
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Case to take Mursi satirist off air rejected

CAIRO: An Egyptian court threw out yesterday a lawsuit demanding a popular satirist’s show that has mocked President Muhammad Mursi be taken off the air and its broadcaster shut down, a judicial source said.
A lawyer had accused controversial political comedian Bassem Youssef of being disrespectful to the audience and to the president and insulting state symbols and Egyptian values with “sexual innuendo.”
The suit cited Youssef’s mockery of a hard-line politician and a photoshopped image of Mursi, who often professes love for his audience in speeches, hugging a red pillow on the show.
It also demanded that the state revoke the licence of Capital Broadcasting Center (CBC) for airing Youssef’s show.
The court threw out the complaint, saying the plaintiff had no legal standing to file the suit.
On Friday, Youssef made his first TV appearance on his weekly show since his interrogation by prosecutors last Sunday.
Egypt’s prosecutor held Youssef for questioning for more than five hours before freeing him on bail for 15,000 Egyptian pounds ($ 2,200/1,692 euros).
Mursi has said he remains committed to protecting freedom of expression, and that complaints against the TV satirist did not come from the presidency, but from “citizens” offended by Youssef’s brand of humor.


Yemen army removes 300,000 Houthi landmines in liberated areas

Updated 55 sec ago
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Yemen army removes 300,000 Houthi landmines in liberated areas

  • According to army officials in Yemen, the country has been subjected to the “largest mine-laying operation since the end of the Second World War”
  • International human rights groups have previously condemned Iran-backed Houthi militias for their use of the banned antipersonnel landmines in Yemen that have caused numerous civilian casualties

Yemen’s national army has seized 300,000 mines planted by Houthi militia in liberated areas, it was announced on Monday.

“In the past two years, the National Army has managed to extract 300,000 mines planted by the Houthi militia in liberated areas, including 40,000 mines on the outskirts of Marib province,” a statement on the army’s website read.

According to army officials in Yemen, the country has been subjected to the “largest mine-laying operation since the end of the Second World War.”

That statement added that the total number of mines laid by the militia exceeds half a million mines, and that this “huge amount continues to pose a sustainable threat to the lives of civilians.”

International human rights groups have previously condemned Iran-backed Houthi militias for their use of the banned antipersonnel landmines in Yemen that have caused numerous civilian casualties and hindered the safe return of people to displaced by fighting.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on Houthis last year to “immediately cease using these weapons and observe the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, which Yemen ratified in 1998.”

According to the group, landmines have been used in at least six governorates since the Saudi-led Arab coalition began military operations in support of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi in March 2015.

HRW said Mines have killed and maimed hundreds of civilians and disrupted civilian life in affected areas.